Calcium regulation of stem cells

EMBO Rep. 2020 Jun 4;21(6):e50028. doi: 10.15252/embr.202050028. Epub 2020 May 17.


Pluripotent and post-natal, tissue-specific stem cells share functional features such as the capacity to differentiate into multiple lineages and to self-renew, and are endowed with specific cell maintenance mechanism as well as transcriptional and epigenetic signatures that determine stem cell identity and distinguish them from their progeny. Calcium is a highly versatile and ubiquitous second messenger that regulates a wide variety of cellular functions. Specific roles of calcium in stem cell niches and stem cell maintenance mechanisms are only beginning to be explored, however. In this review, I discuss stem cell-specific regulation and roles of calcium, focusing on its potential involvement in the intertwined metabolic and epigenetic regulation of stem cells.

Keywords: calcium; epigenetics; metabolism; pluripotent stem cells; post-natal stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Stem Cells


  • Calcium